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Johann Sebastian Bach: "Fantasia in G Major," BWV 572, for Band

Fantasia in G Major, BWV 572

Johann Sebastian Bach

Born: March 21, 1685, Eisenach, Germany

Died: July 28, 1750, Leipzig, Germany

Composed: c. 1703-1707

Original Instrumentation: Pipe Organ

Arranged: 1957, Richard Franko Goldman and Robert L. Leist

Duration: 7 minutes

The great G Major Fantasia for organ was composed between 1703-1707 during Bach’s residence in Arnstadt. It was here, at the beginning of his career, that his music was found by the Consistory to be too full of “wonderful variations and foreign tones.” Certainly, the Fantasia is strikingly dissonant in its constant texture of suspensions, but the breadth of the five-part polyphonic writing and the richness of the harmonic sonority make the Fantasia one of the grandest of all Bach’s compositions for organ. It is also one that lends itself most perfectly to the sound and sonorities of the modern wind band.

The transcription by Richard Franko Goldman and Robert L. Leist was undertaken as a memorial to Edwin Franko Goldman, who was the first bandmaster to include the works of Bach regularly in the band’s concert repertoire, and who did so much to introduce the music of this great master to wide popular audiences. In the transcription, an attempt is made to recapture the sound of the Baroque organ through the medium of the modern band. The first performance of this transcription was given by the Goldman Band, Richard Franko Goldman conducting, on July 1, 1957.

- Program note by Richard Franko Goldman and Robert L. Leist

Johann Sebastian Bach, Fantasia in G Major, BWV 572

Andrea Marcon, organ

Johann Sebastian Bach, Fantasia in G Major, BWV 572, arr. Goldman/Leist

United States Army Field Band, Colonel Jack H. Grogan, conductor

Additional Resources:

- UMWO Blog Bach Posts

#bach #umwe #programnotes

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